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Plants not doing great...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ibanezfrelon, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Maybe someone can point me where am i mistaking..
    I'm having bad growth and poor look in some of my plants.
    Alternanthera grows diformed with bad color since day1 , ludwigia ovalis's lower leaves look bad and hygrophila polysperma's joung leaves are as curled as they can be.
    I've run into a brick wall and don't know what to do anymore..
    I have some polysperma in my betta box and it looks great.

    Tank is Rio 180lit
    2x45w t5 , 9hrs fotoperiod.
    Co2, through airstone and than through 4 powerheads with modified impellers.
    DC is always yellow and fish gasping for breath if i up the co2 even slightly more.
    Co2 mist is all over the aquarium all the time.

    Ferts: KNO3, KH2PO4 , K2SO4 , CSM+B

    NO3- 50ppm
    PO4- 12ppm
    K- 50ppm
    Fe-1ppm

    Water:
    Ca - 125mg/l
    Mg - 7mg/l
    GH - 14
    KH - 12,50
    PH - 7,5

    Filtration.. 2 internal filters , Juwel 600lit-h , Eheim pickup 2010 500lit-h , i'm cleaning Juwel one week and Eheim another week.

    Flow seems fine , all of the plants are moving all of the time.

    Im doing 60% water change every 3 days
    Am i missing something?

    PS. dont look at the microsorum , i just got it a while ago looking as bad as it does , i'll wait for it to grab on to a wood and than remove bad looking leaves.
     
    #1 ibanezfrelon, Jun 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2010
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Looking at the Althernathera and the stunted Hygro, I would say....CO2. But since you're already seem to be at the CO2 maximum, your approach should change to reducing the light. This will reduce CO2 demand. I've been very succesful in making Alternathera grow better by reducing the light. Moving it to a more shady place at the sides of the tank will also help.

    Are you using reflectors? If so, remove them. You will still have plenty of light. After that, give it around 2 weeks time for the plants to adapt.

    Hope this helps,
    Regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you for replying!
    I have allumin foil sticked on the cover behind the t5's but thay are taken away few weeks ago because of the heath so that the water cools of better..
    I already keep alternanthera in the shade with valisneria..
    I've seen tanks with stronger lights than mine and with less co2 where Hygro grew beautiful..
    I was amazed few days ago with a RIO 180 , same lights as mine but no ferts, no co2 , not even supstrate , only gravel and the plants were just amasing.
    The tank did have very good filtration and A LOT of fauna (i think arround 240 neon tetras and rasboras)
    I'm dissapointed that with all my ferts and co2 i cannot get my alternanthera or even polysperma to look decent.
    I pointed powerhead spraying thick co2 fog directly at this plants , lights is only 9hrs...

    All this just makes me wanna shut down the co2 and ferts and just see what happens...
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Well, if you want to grow algae instead of plants, that's the right thing to do. ;)

    So if you can't use more CO2, how can your pH be 7,5? Assuming your KH level is right I would expect a fugure like 7 or less.
    Do you have surface agitation, like a good ripple?


    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    I should have mentioned...
    ..the water parameters that i wrote are the latest parameters i recived from my water distributor, not the Ph in my tank at co2 max..
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Do you turn on your CO2 an hour before your lights switch on? If not, you should. That way full CO2 is available when it's needed.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  7. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    CO2 turns on 2 hrs befote the lights and turns off with the lights.
    I have some surface agitation , not too much though , not breaking the surface..
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    ok....I give up...maybe there's someone else that sees something that I don't.

    Anyway I still think it's a CO2 issue. it's typical for leaves to curl when they get close to the light when there's not enough CO2. Lower leaves are ok, so that rules out any nutrient based issue to me.

    But it contradicts with your info....

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  9. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you Dutchy for replying , very nice of you..
    I will try to pull the t5's a little to the front and away from the mentioned plants and see what happens..
     
  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    You can also try to raise the lights for about 5 inch, put a support between the light bar and the central glass support. Just to try. No cost.

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
  11. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    You have a lot of flow in there. A LOT more than me. Anyway I had some stunting leaves until I lowered the light. So that's still what I would try.
    If you just made a major change, than you should give plants around to weeks time to adapt.

    Sometimes I have plants that stunt after I bought them and I just put them into the tank. Then they don't grow for at least two weeks.

    I can't see any other issues. Maybe Tom can jump in here....

    You could cut down your dosing by half and still be non limiting. But that doesn't have to do with your issues, more with economy.
    Changing 50% of water once per week would be enough too and even more economic.

    Regards,
    dutchy
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, reduce the light a little, and then tweak the CO2 slow and progressively, then observe and see how plants respond, see Gbark's thread, he's finally getting somewhere.
    Yourself and Gbark are in the same situation.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Thanx Tom!
    I will try to reduce the light that is above the troubled plants by wraping a few peaces of allum. foil arround a t5 tubes.
    Also , i will up the co2 little by little (my wife won't be happy if i choke any more fish though :)

    Živjeli!
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Just adjust the CO2 slowly and wait, then adjust a little more after 1-2 weeks. Watch tank very closely.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Sorry if I should know better by now - but if ibanezfrelon's fish were gasping at the CO2 rate he had set - isn't this enough to indicate that CO2 supply is non-limiting? If the CO2 level is high enough to make the fish start gasping, surely it is well and truly high enough to provide above and beyond what the plants will need? Wouldn't a better strategy be to reduce the CO2 just enough to keep the fish happy and leave everything otherwise alone for a few weeks - perhaps there was nothing wrong with his initial set up - just more time was needed for the plants to adjust and get going?
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think providing more head room for the CO2, eg reduction of the light a little, and then very slow, small precise adjustments is wise here.
    Many folks adjust CO2 too fast and miss the more subtle and effective results. they end up gassing fish or...never quite knowing what real nice clean growth looks like.

    This should not be a fine knife's edge to balance either.

    Gasping fish is a poor estimator for good CO2.
    1. Ethical issues with stressing fish.
    2. Respiration of the fish is both CO2, and the O2, and there's a temp affect, general stress level of the fish added in there also.
    So it's not just CO2 alone.

    Perhaps the delivery is good part of the day, even too much, and not enough durign another time when the lights are on?
    Happened to me recently with the solenoid.

    The only real guarantee of good CO2, is excellent vibrant growth, healthy fish that behave and eat well and no algae.
    That's a good goal and is a the focus of most aquarist.

    Not gassing their the fish.
    Sort of like the general focus of the hobby is growing plants, not killing algae.

    But Scott makes the point to drop it a tad and watch and leave it alone, give it time, which I think many do not do, they are impatient and want results fast, yesterday etc.
    I agree with that as well.

    Those are good questions.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Ibanezfrelon,

    How are you progressing? Did you have any luck as a result of lowering the lighting?

    I'm still not sure I understand what you are saying above Tom. If somebody turns the CO2 rate down and the fish are fine, then turns it up and the fish are not (i.e. they start gasping), only ONE variable is changing, so, ethical issues aside, how is this a poor estimator for good CO2?

    Scott.
     
  19. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Scotward!
    I think what Tom is saying is that fish gasping is not a good co2 indicator , because you can have a very low co2 level and fish gasping because of low o2 , and you can have a good co2 without fish gasping if you have good surface ripple and good o2... ...if i understood that right..

    My plants are doing pretty good now , thnx for asking , since i've made a good co2 reacor and distribution. I have made a reactor out of Juwel internal filter , i have 3X 500lit-h powerheads wtih modified impellers meshing the co2 inside the reactor and it's distributed (co2) over a spraybar placed on the back bottom of the tank.
    I have very fine microbubbles all over the tank.
    The only problem i have is with aquascape wich realy is not a problem since i enjoy having my plants healthy without some fashinable aquascape..

    IMG_2402..jpg

    IMG_2393..jpg

    IMG_2405..jpg

    IMG_2403..jpg

    IMG_2400..jpg
     
  20. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    I actualy did not lower the light but even put reflectors on the t5's...
    ...but i have menaged to get a great co2 for that light..

    IMG_2395..jpg

    IMG_2397..jpg
     
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